Posts Tagged ‘friends’

I recently got back in touch with one of my dearest childhood friends and it has me thinking of my childhood and most specifically 5th grade and my life then. We had moved from Southern California to Northern California, which was night and day at the time. We had lived in a bustling but smallish city in Orange County close enough to the beaches and a stones through to Disneyland. My younger childhood was busy. Dance classes, modeling classes, trips out, life was very very busy. I always had something going on.

Then we moved to Northern California, to a small little mining town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. Back then, life moved at a snails pace. Such a change from what my sister and I where used to. We moved into a nice house in a neighborhood that bordered on one that I loved, and still love even today. I lived in walking distance of the school and that is where I met Wendy, who was my life saver that year, even if I didn’t realize it at the time. My parents where on a verge of a divorce. They fought more then not. Home was a bit chaotic. My memories of being at home where very lonely. My sister was gone as much as possible, as most 17 yr olds are, and I just remember not liking being home at all. Thank God for Wendy. I think I spent more time with her and at her house that year then I did at home. I will be honest and say that I don’t think my Mom even noticed, or she was relieved to not have to deal with an 11yr old under her feet during that time.

I loved Wendy’s house. For many years it was my ideal home. I remember it as big, really coollylaid out floor plan wise and peaceful. I had ideas of building a replica of it most of my early adulthood. I wonder if its actually as big as I remember?  It had a cool downstairs, and a pool. But the best bit was the street. I was a massive street that wound around the hills and through olive orchards. Wendy seemed to know everyone. It was a blast. I drove down that street a few years ago. Its not as long as I remember. Still lovely with fantastic views of the canyon down to the American River, but like the light of day, age gave it a different perspective. Funny how that happens.

I think the things I really remember the most was the mischief we got up to. And boy did we get up to it. Just off the top of my head where things such as this:

  • Walking into town on our own, going into businesses and asking them if we could use the phone. Back then they always said yes. We would write down the number and then go to a pay phone, call it and leave the phone off the hook
  • Prank phone calls… daily… usually to the same place. Thank goodness they didn’t have caller ID.
  • Going door to door selling junk… really junk… saying I was deaf and needed an operation. People actually bought stuff off us.

We where good kids really, but we did get up to stuff. This is really the tip of the iceberg so I wont go to into it.  Needless to say, 5th grade was probably one of the best years of my life. Wendy’s mom made me feel at home and took really good care of me. She let me stay over on school nights and let us stay up late to finish the 5 page reports that we always seemed to wait to do until the night before. Her step dad would drive us to school in a really fun MG in the morning. It was all good.

After 5th grade let out my mom and dad divorced. My sister moved out. She felt she had to so my mom could go. My mom and I moved across town and lived in a town house near my oldest sister. I went to a new school that I hated. My mom met my step dad and 6 months later they where married. Things changed and I didn’t really see Wendy much until High School. My memories of 5th grade and of Wendy, her family, and that street, are still some of the best of my life. I know my life would of been very different if we had stayed in Southern California, but I am not so sure that it would of been better.


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